Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body




Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body
Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body
Tahiti, November 2, 2022 – Co-Director of the Batutique documentary, The Art of Tattooing the Marquesas Islands, shown Thursday evening at the Grand Théâtre de la Maison de la culture, Heretu Tetahiotupa is located in an inaccessible valley in Nuku Hiva. Musician, director, painter, tattoo artist, he found his way by exploring his Marxist roots.

His father is a Marquesan, his mother is French. He was born in Paris in 1992. But he found his way in Anahu, a valley that stretches from Nuku Hiva to the Marquesas Islands. There where its dual roots, matchmaking, make sense.

At the age of three, he returned with his family to live in Polynesia. He spent a little over a year in Tahiti, and then left for Marquesas. His father was responsible, the family received “from the big world“.Later, he attended La Mennais High School where he obtained his scientific baccalaureate. He admits that he was talented at school, and attributes this to his great curiosity.”I’m still amazed by it all, and I love learning. I take in any new information. ”

At the age of 18, he took over the direction of France. He continued his studies in Strasbourg in musicology. “I wanted to be an artist, actually a musician. At that time I was mostly into music. “He believes, besides his learning, that this choice will be.”positive“.”I told myself that by being away from my family, my loved ones, and my environment, I would gain a revelation, that I would find meaning in my life.. But the revelation did not come, “Anyway, it’s not what I expected.



“I realized the richness of Polynesia”

He does not appreciate his urban experience. First of all, the climate is difficult to tolerate. For several months, he struggled with low skies and gray days. “It was oppressive. Hirito Titahotoba slept in the sun,Under an endless blue skyHe explains:My physical reaction was bad. It was physiological.And then, the mood of the people did not know how to please him. “People are still less friendly. “Whoever saw his island as a kind of prison surrounded by the ocean, finally opened his eyes to the treasures that his native home contained.”By living my life abroad, I realized the richness of Polynesia. “At nineteen, he came home.


Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body
Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body

He attended the University of French Polynesia in Physics and Chemistry. “I have always loved the arts and sciencesScience, for him, explains.Promise to understand the secrets of the universe. “During this period, he has remained a bit lost. It is in this critical age to move into the adult world. He points out that today, in many societies, there is no more ritual.”No one to accompany us. We slip and bump and improvise like adults. “Heretu Tetahiotupa notices a discrepancy between his expectations and reality. He will need time to understand what surrounds him, to understand himself.”For this, the documentary Patotica played a very big role. ”

At university, he made an appointment with the guidance unit “which helped me a lot,” he recalls. He talks about his interest in the arts and sciences. “Why not try audio-visual aids?‘, suggests a directing unit. In 2011, he completed an internship in the production department of a local TV channel. RediscoverLots of things I’ve been doing already, for fun. “As a teenager, he enjoyed making short video montages. During the course, he also gives his unique voice. In 2012, he obtained a license and worked regularly for the channel.”which I liked.

In addition, Heretu Tetahiotupa sings and plays guitar in bars and nightclubs in Tahiti. “We did a training with a friend. “He covers music, but it doesn’t quite fit him. He seeks to create something relevant,”which original“.Now, what could be more authentic than the individual himself? His quest for identity is taking more and more space. He knows that buried within is his own Marquisian part, but he hasn’t understood it yet.”I actually avoided it. At that time, Heretu Tetahiotupa also created the Lucid Dream collective. In 2013, this group was awarded with two short films at the second edition of the Vini Film Festival: Tikaito (Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award) and Make the Kitchen (Best Director Award). ).

Impressive stay

In 2013, Heretu Tetahiotupa vacationed in Marquesas. His parents own a secluded house in Anahu Valley. There is no way that serves the people.”We go there on horseback, or on foot, as I have for a long time. Today I have an electric bike‘, he admitted. He stayed there for a few weeks. This return to his roots bothers him.


Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body
Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body

In Nuku Hiva, he meets the childhood friends who stayed behind.In culture, music and dance“.records sounds he mixes with sounds he brought from Tahiti. There is something really new here. Something clicks for Heretu Tetahiotupa. He was emotionally touched.”However, I did not know the tools of this creativity, the rhythms, the music, the language, and all that it meant.“He wants to use it but leave nothing to chance.

Destruction to rebuild

In 2014, he decided to settle in Anahu. “A real life changer.” He puts his hands on the ground. He makes coconut pulp, fishes on land, started by his friends, and at sea as he did with his father when he was little. “I accompanied him when I was 6 or 7 years old, I always liked the apnea. It carried well under water. I stayed on the kayak, but did some underwater descents during fishing trips. He begins to learn the Marquisian. At home there is a large library that feeds him. He admits that he grew up, drawn to the West, and rested on the rhythms of Jimi Hendrix and the ideas of Spinoza and Nietzsche. In Anahu, in the family home, he devoured all the writings on the Marquis. He cites the work of Marie Noel and Pierre Otieno Garanger. , “family friends“.speaks of his uncle Edgar Titahutuba who gave him the keys to understanding Marquisian culture.”All this gave extraordinary value to all those things which had hitherto seemed insignificant to me.. He explores since his inception in the Marquesas the culture of his ancestors.

For Heretu Tetahiotupa, there is no break between art and spirituality. This now affects every move he makes. He says he arrived in Marquesas with a lot of anxiety, problems that belong to modern civilization. He got rid of everything, and got”notice“.He destroyed everything, then rebuilt everything.”I enjoy taking advantage of everything. “He has found balance. In Western society,We think and classify“, in Polynesian society in general, the Marquesan in particular,”We communicate, we make connections. We have a holistic approachHowever, he does not reject his dual culture. The two are closely related. He uses the tools and concepts of one to maintain the universality of the other.



“I was there for it”

He tells how with Tiki Hookina, met in 2015, he went to meet with witnesses in the valleys. “I love the tiki approach. “The patotic documentary, The Art of the Marquisian Tattoo, has its source there.”When he started talking about it, I understood. I knew I had something to do at the Marquesas, that was it, this project. I was there for it.The documentary was made with Christophe Cordier.


Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body
Heretu Tetahiotupa, Marquesan in heart and body

Heretu Tetahiotupa and Teiki Huukena were able to interview 70 people. “Among them were the children of another tattooed Marxan.“Interviews are fertile ground for documentary. Heretu Tetahiotupa, at the time, was not tattooed. He covered his body with carefully selected patterns, painted and positioned as he learned and made the documentary. Once the latter was completed, it was examined in 23 valleys of the six Marquesan Islands as a preview.” Heretu Tetahiotupa made another documentary of these shows.

The documentary, produced by Herito Titahioba and Christophe Cordier, produced by Les Hashtag Studios, Eka Eka Productions, Patutiki and Cedília Guirao Association, was presented at the Oceania Documentary Film Festival (Fifo) in 2019. It won the Audience Award. This is the price of the heart for those who organize festivals. Heretu Tetahiotupa, after the award ceremony, said, “It’s my first movie so I had no expectations but it’s really amazing. ”

In 2016, he co-organized a music festival in Nuku Hiva. During the event, he was playing with the rock band Marquesan called Kiva. And for himlaboratoryHe does not distribute his creations because he considers that he does not master his creative tools enough. Today, he is ready and this is added to the long list of his projects.

“honor.” and a “great responsibility”

In 2021, Heretu Tetahiotupa participated in the opening of the tattoo school in Marquesas. The first session, which included 12 students, was able to follow the courses given by different specialists for ten months. The next session could begin in 2024. He himself tattoos a lot in Nuku Hiva, and sometimes in Tahiti. He says he has an ethno-anthropological practice of his activism. He’s working “As the ancients didHe finds no interest in doing tattoos according to today’s principles. Patutiki practice respects symbols, language, grammar and vocabulary. So many restrictions limit the “almost limitless” creative path. To hear Heretu Tetahiotupa, in this context, anything is possible, or almost.

At the request of author Patrick Chastel, in 2022, he will also produce the illustrations for the book The Marquisian Legends, which will be released in a few days. He will participate in the Visual Arts Exhibition to be held in Tahiti in 2023. He is working on his paintings. He makes short documentaries for broadcast in New Zealand but turns down any other major project. In February 2022, he became Chairman of the Organizing Committee of Matavaa o te Henua Enata (Comothe). “honor. “and one”big responsibility“.Preparations for the Marquesas Festival began in December 2023.”It is very rewardingHe said with evident gratitude,Seems to me that validates all these years of researchIt is a challenge, another stone in the collective construction of the Marquesan people, but also in the personal construction of Heretu Tetahiotupa.


Written by Delphine Paris on Wed November 2, 2022 at 7:21 pm | Read 520 times



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